SHAREPAIR - Digital Support Infrastructure for Citizens in the Repair Economy

Project Summary

The project addresses the increasing amount of waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). WEEE is one of the fastest-growing waste streams in the EU, growing at 3-5% a year. Consumption of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), and therefore production of WEEE, is very high throughout the NWE region (Eurostat 2016, EEE products put on the market). At the same time, NWE is home to a growing citizen repair movement (10,000+ volunteers), attempting to fight back against this upsurge in waste. However, their impact remains small, even though consumers indicate a high willingness to repair. Hence, there is a large gap between intent and actual behaviour, due to a lack of convenient and accessible repair solutions.

The project aims to decrease WEEE from consumer products by scaling up citizen repair initiatives through the use of digital tools: digital tools that stimulate and facilitate citizen repair by collecting repair solutions and making them easily accessible to citizens. The tools will target both consumers at home and more skilled repairers in repair cafés. They will also map and guide citizens towards high-quality professional repair services, and assemble, with the help of designers, a database of 3D-printing designs (open-source) for printing replacement parts.

The objective is to decrease WEEE by 13,5 T per year in pilot repair cafés and by 175 T per year in the pilot cities.
The project’s main output will be an integrated approach to supporting citizen repair: a digital infrastructure that supports self-repair, repairing together (in repair cafés or repair centres), and repairing with professional support. To sustain this infrastructure beyond the project lifetime, business and policy models will be developed with a view to setting up a European Open Repair Data Platform.


Repair workshop for children in Apeldoorn

15-03-2023 - 15-03-2023, Apeldoorn

On Wednesday, March 15, a repair workshop for children was held in Apeldoorn. The workshop marks the second in a series of three, called ‘Repareren kun je leren’. Read more

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Major milestone: over 100,000 records of repair

Posted on 07-07-2023

We are very happy to announce the release of the latest set of open repair data from the Open Repair Alliance. Read more

SHAREPAIR on national Dutch television!

Posted on 24-04-2023

On April 24th, SHAREPAIR appeared in the national Dutch television show ‘Radar’ – a show advising consumers. Read more

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Project Partners

Lead partner

Organisation Address Email Website
Stad Leuven 1 Professor Van Overstraetenplein
Name Contact Name Email Country
Maison du développement durable – Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve Alain Dangoisse Belgium
Gemeente Apeldoorn Sanne van Laar Netherlands
Stad Roeselare Gino Dehullu Belgium
The Restart Project Vallauri Ugo United Kingdom
Repair&Share Inez Louwagie Belgium
Delft University of Technology Bas Flipsen Netherlands
The Manchester Metropolitan University Craig Banks United Kingdom
National University of Ireland Galway Umair ul Hassan Ireland
Association des Consommateurs Test-Achats Sophie Dewaele Belgium
Prototyping Collective Anika Paape Germany
Statik Tim Peeters Belgium
KU Leuven – Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Jef Peeters Belgium
Repair Together Jonathan Vigne Belgium
VITO Yoko Dams Belgium
Maakbaar Leuven Jan Larosse Belgium

Project news

Events and activities

Despite growing awareness about the need to shift to more sustainable patterns of consumption, waste from consumer goods in North-West Europe remains high. This is particularly so for electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), of which 6,065,741 tonnes are put on the market each year (Eurostat 2016: Benelux, UK, FR, DE).

Despite nearing market saturation, demand for EEE remains high, in part because product lifespans are shortening, resulting in products being discarded and replaced more quickly. It is unsurprising, then, that waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is one of the fastest-growing waste streams in the EU, growing at 3-5% per year.

There is an urgent need to stop this accumulation of waste and decrease consumption of electronics. Our project proposes to do so by
stimulating citizen-driven repair. From a resource-efficiency perspective, repair is better than recycling, because recycling often still requires a significant amount of new materials and energy to manufacture new products, whereas repair does not. Repair thus has the potential to be a powerful lever in the transition to a circular economy, in which products are designed for repair and recycling.

NWE is home to many citizen initiatives that focus on repair. The founding members of the Open Repair Alliance (Repair Café International, Restart, Anstiftung) are all based in the region of North-West Europe, and represent a community of 1500+ repair clubs.

Yet, the impact of citizen repair initiatives is still limited. They are dispersed and lack critical mass. Although each repair event helps to avoid on average 60 kg of waste, approximately 40% of the failed products brought to a repair event are not repaired, often due to missing information or a lack of spare parts.

Our project aims to support and scale up citizen-driven repair by developing a digital infrastructure to facilitate repair. The tools will lift  some of the key barriers to repair, such as a lack of repair solutions or a lack of access to spare-parts, and guide more citizens towards more repair. The project aims to harness the power of the emerging citizen repair movement, and more fully realise its potential to reduce waste and help achieve a circular economy.

Project results

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